Here’s some cheery news: Los Angeles restaurant Top Round Roast Beef has signed a franchising agreement to bring its burgeoning empire of medium-rare sandwiches to Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and many other cities. Though its grungy, smog-aged flagship may seem like it’s been around forever, Top Round opened in the summer of 2013, and its founders include Anthony Carron, who co-created similarly expanding Neapolitan pie chainlet 800 degrees. But beyond the resolutely healthy-seeming prospects of “kale slaw,” the menu looks downright spectacular — bring on the gravy fries and housemade cheese “wizz.”
Top Round Roast Beef’s main selling point is its lineup of regional sandwiches. Roast-beef completists accustomed to having to go in entirely opposite directions to get cheese steaks and au jus on squishy rolls will no doubt be pleased to note this place does the former as an occasional special and has made the latter a staple of its concise menu, which also includes loads of St. Louis Provel-cheese-topped things and beef on Weck, that canonized, blue-collar masterpiece from upstate New York.
Cheese fries, gravy fries, and “dirty fries” — which have cheese and gravy, plus onions, beef, and “round” sauce — are also central. The fries are cooked in beef tallow, and dessert is a lineup of frozen custard. It’s worth noting that NYC used to be much more of a roast-beef town, and aside from the short-lived This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef and great French dip at Minetta Tavern, two of the city’s roast-beef scene’s mightiest survivors — Roll-n-Roaster and Brennan & Carr — are pretty much the fast-food forebears of Top Round Roast Beef. There’s no word on when the first NYC location could open, but the group says they’re looking for “multi-unit operators,” so all of this is to say that there may soon be as many Top Rounds as there are Shake Shacks.
Related: American Bread: A Guide to 41 Hyper-Regional Sandwiches
[QSR via Eater]